A jury has found former Nassau County Police Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan guilty of conspiracy and not guilty of receiving reward for official misconduct for helping a friend’s son escape arrest for a burglary.
Jurors handed down their verdict before Judge Mark Cohen shortly before 8 p.m. Friday. Flanagan had been convicted of two counts of official misconduct the night before, on Valentine’s Day. In all, he was convicted of three misdemeanors and acquitted of the top charge, a felony.
“The jury took care of the felony, the Appellate Court’s going to take care of the misdemeanors,” Bruce Barket, Flanagan’s attorney, told reporters following the verdict, indicating that he’d be appealing.
“This isn’t over,” added Flanagan.
Prosecutors said that Flanagan helped quash the arrest and prosecution of his friend and wealthy police benefactor Gary Parker’s son Zachary, who stole more than $11,000 worth of computer and sound equipment from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore in 2009.
Gary testified during the trial that he gave Flanagan three $100 gift cards shortly after the property was returned, but the jury was not convinced that it was a quid pro quo. Zachary pleaded guilty to the burglary after he was indicted following a 2011 Long Island Press story exposing the thefts and coverup.
That story also sparked an investigation by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office that led to Flanagan’s March 2012 indictment, along with that of retired Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe and former Deputy Chief of Patrol John Hunter, who also pleaded not guilty. They’re slated to be tried separately.
Flanagan’s sentencing has been scheduled for May 1.
“This case has always been about making sure that there isn’t one set of rules for the wealthy and connected, and another set for everyone else,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement Fright night. “This is a huge win for the public, but it’s also a sad day for an awful lot of incredibly hard-working Nassau cops who do their brave jobs honestly every day. This case is a reminder that to safeguard the public’s trust and the integrity of our honest officers, we must be vigilant in our fight against corruption and misconduct.”
Most jurors declined to comment after they were released following the four-week-long trial, which included about a week of deliberations. One juror said the jury was convinced there was a conspiracy after reviewing the testimony of Deputy Inspector Lorna Atmore, the former Seventh Precinct Squad commander.
“We realized it was a conspiracy from the beginning from day one,” the juror said, referring to Atmore’s testimony that she she became concerned with Parker’s connections to police brass when the case came in just before she was promoted out of the unit. “They did what they did. They can’t undo that.”